Day 1 Embark at Budapest
What's up, river roaming crew? Who's pumped for 2 weeks of water based good times? We'll kick things off as we mean to go on tonight with a welcome party complete with tasty Hungarian street food, then who's up for a slice of Budapest nightlife? We reckon the legendary ruin bars are calling...
Day 2 Budapest
Majestic, sprawling, bohemian, post-modern - just some of the words we could use to describe Budapest. But hey, we'll leave you to make your own judgements. What we will do, however, is take you to one of our favourite spots, the covered market, where chef will introduce you to some of Hungary's most iconic flavours, including its favourite spice, paprika. Of course this IS the city of spas and a hot bed for geothermal activity, so naturally soaking in various water temperatures until you resemble a prune is likely high on the agenda. If we can tempt you away, our Optionals include visiting some seriously gorgeous libraries, and braving the aptly named House of Terror museum. Tonight, we'll feast like Kings on the produce we bought earlier from the market.
Day 3 Budapest to Vienna via Bratislava
With its small town charm, Czech beer, bohemian cuisine and art deco cafes, Slovakia's capital city doesn't disappoint. An hour long walking tour will get you fully orientated, then feast your eyes on our ME Time Optionals on how to make this pit stop one to really remember - wakeboarding, anyone? Onboard, chef will be teaching us all a thing or two about his favourite Austrian desserts. Docking early evening, we'll get our first glimpse of spellbinding Vienna, getting excited for what tomorrow will bring.
Day 4 Vienna
After a leisurely breakfast, we'll get you orientated with Austria's elegant and artistic capital city with a guided walking tour of the highlights, plus a tram ride around the Ringstrasse. Then, the choice is yours, and we've got plenty to tempt you with - an opera music/Viennese cooking class (at the same time, incredibly), a unique dining experience in Vienna's giant ferris wheel, and even an after hours (read - no tourists) tour of the Schönbrunn Palace, the former residence of the imperial family. And if all THAT wasn't enough, tonight is all about one thing - classical music. This is what Vienna is best known for, so opt to join us for a performance at Klosterneuburg Abbey.
Day 5 Vienna to Melk via Dürnstein
Pulling into tiny Dürnstein this morning, expect to hear a collective 'ooohhh'. House goals are everywhere around here, as you'll discover as we stroll to the village and make our way to the castle ruins where Richard the Lionheart was once help for ransom. The views up here are incredible, so enjoy!
Pulling into Melk around lunchtime, you'll have the option to check out Melk Abbey, which boasts a 900 year old history and has a library any book nerd will literally drool over, or you could take advantage of our on board (and free to use) bikes by freewheeling around the Wachau Valley and surrounding villages. Of course, like many other European countries, Austria has a dark and often deeply saddening past, so today you'll also have the chance to venture to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, which operated from 1938-45, to learn more."
Day 6 Melk to Passau via Engelhartszell
Rolling in here around breakfast time, it's time to see what your cycling legs are really made of. To bike the route from Engelhartszell to Passau, or to chill on deck? C'mon, you know you've got it in you - 20 miles of flat, picturesque bike trails accompanied by a local guide sounds pretty good to us...
You made it, and its only just lunchtime - virtual high five bike crew! Once in Passau the adventures don't stop there, with a hike to two scenic viewpoints overlooking the town, admiring the town's baroque cathedral and crooked lanes on route.
Day 7 Passau to Regensburg via Straubing
Having cast off from Passau late last night, we'll pull into Straubing just as you're waking for breakfast - pretty handy, eh? Spend your morning roaming the town's ancient sites and gothic streets with a local guide, or sampling traditional Bavarian cuisine (and beer, lots of beer) on our aptly named beer & meat Optional.
2000 years of history accumulates in Regensburg, and we're going to give you the low down in just one hour - how's that for the short version? And as for motor heads, this place is the home of BMW, so it would be rude not to pay a visit to the factory to learn about German's finest piece of engineering. Tonight is our last as a group, so let's go out on a high, and given the fact that Regensburg offers the highest concentration of bars per square mile, it won't be difficult...
Day 8 Regensburg
Waking up this morning we'll be saying our goodbyes to those leaving us, and welcoming in a new crew of river roaming pals for the second leg of our adventure. How best to break the ice? A welcome party, obvs, complete with music and German street food. And for afters, how about we show the newbies what Regensburg by night has to offer?
Day 9 Regensburg to Kelheim
2000 years of history accumulates in Regensburg, and we're going to give you the low down in just one hour - how's that for the short version? On route, we'll pit stop at the world's oldest sausage restaurant, then it's back to it with a birds eye view hike around the city. If you've been accustomed to the water life, we're guessing our canoe or kayak excursion through the Danube Gorge is more your jam. But then again, this place IS the home of BMW, so it would be rude not to pay a visit to the factory to learn about German's finest piece of engineering.
WHAT A DAY. Can it get any better? Well yes, actually, courtesy of our onboard beer mixology class, which will keep us busy as we journey towards Kelheim.
Day 10 Kelheim to Nuremberg
A little city with a big reputation, stepping into Nuremberg means taking a journey back in time, to the beginning of WWII and even further, given the city's previous status as the undeclared capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Exploring on a guided bike tour is for sure the best way to get up to speed on anything and everything Nuremberg, from the pivotal role it played during the war, to the highly publicised trails in the years that followed. If it's the city's culinary reputation you're more interested in, you're in luck, our 'Spice is Nice' Optional is all about tracking the historic spice route, and of course sampling the city's famous gingerbread.
Day 11 Nuremberg to Hassfurt via Bamberg
Our genius crew have done it again, getting us into Bamberg whilst we slept soundly in our beds. Fill up on breakfast today, as we've got ALL the activities on offer. If your hungering for something a little more physical, boy have we got options. Like the sound of kayaking the Main and Pegnitz rivers, or maybe you're even more daring than that, in which case the rock climbing routes around Bamberg are your literal playground. After dinner and fully stuffed, we'll kick back and snuggle down for a group movie night.
Day 12 Hassfurt to Würzburg
Keen to up your kitchen game? Head out this morning to the Green Market with our onboard chef, where you'll learn about and pick up ingredients for tonight's dinner. For those looking to head further afield, we've also got an Optional excursion to Rothenburg on the cards, arguably the prettiest town, and certainly the most romantic, in all of Germany. Or perhaps, you'd rather visit the Würzburg Residence; a Baroque palace famed for its grand staircase, hall of mirrors and a ceiling fresco that dwarves the Sistine Chapel's. "
Day 13 Würzburg to Miltenberg via Wertheim
Why not take advantage of our onboard (and free to use) bicycles, freewheeling along the main river cycle route. Pretty as a postcard, Miltenberg is all traditional houses, river front vistas and medieval castles peeking through the tree tops. We'll be hitting the town with our local guide, hiking through a vineyard and nosing around a legit fairytale castle, before rewarding ourselves with some local beer at a brewery tour and tasting. Oh, and in between we'll also squeeze in a watercolour class. Now THAT is one perfect day, but we're not done yet. If your booze quota isn't quite full for the day, why not join us for a winery tour and tasting in yet another medieval castle. And if THAT'S not all, we're also offering some foodie onboard experiences; pretzel making, and then a Franconian sausage BBQ on deck. #yum.
Day 14 Miltenberg to Frankfurt
Stopping at our final destination, why not start the day by taking a bike or walking tour of Frankfurt, followed by a watercolour class. Foodies (you know who you are by now) - today chef has something seriously special lined up, in the form of a Franconian lesson. Urr, wow. Then this evening, who's up for a little Frankfurt by night wander? This city is known as a place of contrast, where towering sky scrapers and ancient abodes sit shoulder to shoulder, whilst it's buzzing night life scene gives the likes of New York or London a run for their money. No wonder then it's commonly referred to as 'Mainhattan'...
Day 15 Disembark at Frankfurt
After one more blissful sleep, we're sad to say it's all over. River cruising, you're our new favourite way of travelling…
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